Mission-critical communications over broadband networks promise to deliver what first responders really need — the ability to share real-time vital audio-visual and informational data in a secure, reliable manner, and in high quality – directly from the scene, for the purpose of saving lives. But the challenge for the technology industry is to implement such systems with no margin for error.
LTE networks in many markets have now matured and can provide and sustain the requirements of public safety communication. But this is only the first step on a road riddled with challenges. Device manufacturers and application developers need to provide state of the art, ruggedized equipment for running failsafe software that can be be used effectively by law enforcement agencies, firefighters, emergency medical services, search and rescue teams, and others.
To meet the challenging requirements, the infrastructure that is used to deliver the solution must be robust, flexible and adaptable in order to comply with the evolving and changing standards. In addition, it must provide secured channel authentication and encryption, interwork with various IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS), and provide superb audio and video quality exactly when network resources run short and the conditions faced by rescuers are harsh.
As the communications industry has learned from the deployment of voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in recent years, implementing an industry standard with multiple vendors requires a lot of expertize. Developers must create systems to communicate high-definition and high-quality audio and video, while supporting the mission-critical use cases, including VoLTE and video over LTE (ViLTE), push-to-talk, push-to-video, instant imagery and file sharing, presence and group communications (one-to-many and many-to-one) and more.
Building public safety products which are able to provide good user experience by service providers, handset vendors, and network equipment suppliers dictates use of the right tools that answers these requirements.
Just like for the launch of VoLTE, developer tools like Softil’s BEEHD SDK are being adopted for developing PS-LTE systems. The BEEHD framework offers fully-integrated signaling, media handling, error correction algorithms, codecs and advanced APIs in a single solution, and it supports the requirements of PS-LTE as defined by the leading standardization bodies, 3GPP, OMA and NPSTC. Subsequently, using the BEEHD, accelerates development and enables faster customization.
These benefits were underlined recently, in Elbit systems’ announcement of its WideBridge Cloud applications suite, a FirstNet ready public safety solution. By using Softil’s BEEHD framework to develop mission-critical mobile applications, Elbit can deliver good user experience and get to market quickly.
As communications systems migrate to next-generation technologies, such as IMS, RCS and more, developers will use more tools to ensure their services meet customer needs.